Why Women in Business Have the Skills to Succeed
The MBA is a powerful degree, opening up exciting career opportunities and equipping you with vital skills for the future business world. But inherent skills could make women in business even more successful.
While it's important to possess technical capabilities in business, interpersonal skills are increasingly valuable in today's global workplace. These so-called 'soft skills' are a large part of the MBA curriculum, and business recruiters and organizations are increasingly looking for a broader range of skills in their MBA graduate hires.
Luckily, women are innately equipped with four of the essential attributes that foster business success.
Women have traditionally been held back from business success. They face challenges in access to business degrees and are frequently held back from managerial positions at companies. Women entrepreneurs face similar hurdles, including access to financial resources and gender bias in startup culture.
Yet, women entrepreneurs and managers are poised to excel, whether they're running their own businesses or working for a company. In fact, companies with women who are MBA graduates in leadership roles see a 42 percent higher return on sales.
So, let's explore the skills that women in business possess that make them such valuable business leaders.
Women with MBAs are effective communicators
According to Forbes, the top three female communication strengths are the ability to read body language and nonverbal cues, good listening skills, and effective displays of empathy.
Women use these skills as powerful leaders in the workplace to open discussions and speak from a place of trust and transparency. Such skills also help at the negotiating table, where we can read the situation and apply that knowledge to advance mediation.
These skills also make women-owned businesses successful. Marketing your own business requires you to be a good communicator as you promote your business on social media and sell your products or services in person.
Women excel at building relationships in the business world
A post from Entrepreneur notes that building a successful business means focusing on establishing relationships with three key audiences: customers, influencers, and competitors.
Women have historically spent their lives creating families and building a home for themselves. These experiences help us cultivate workplace relationships. We use our social skills to build trust with our colleagues and develop rapport with our partners.
Women also foster effective relationships when it comes to networking, and they tend to flourish when part of professional organizations for women in business, such as the National Association of Women MBAs.
Professional women solve problems
According to a study from Harvard Business Review, women are more likely to take initiative than their male counterparts and score better in resilience and drive for results.
These innate skills help women better facilitate collaboration and information-sharing. Women often choose to discuss possible solutions with more people and, in turn, gain more facts and perspectives.
Combine this with a keen sense of nonverbal communication, and it's no surprise that women, especially those with an MBA, are better positioned to make informed decisions to solve problems.
Women have emotional intelligence
The most recent research into emotional intelligence (EI) considers that this trait breaks down into five parts: self-awareness, managing emotions, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Women have the capacity to tap into all of these required skills to help navigate complex situations, support colleagues, and manage behaviors and expectations. Emotional intelligence also helps us identify and connect with others from a place of empathy and understanding.
People who excel in emotional empathy make good counselors, teachers, and managers because of this ability to immediately sense how others are reacting.
How an MBA Could Help Women in Business Succeed
After reading about how women possess many distinguishing qualities that can set us up for success in business, let's hope that you're feeling more confident in your ability to succeed.
As we've heard, our unique aptitudes are valuable to recruiters and help businesses achieve growth through thoughtful communication, meaningful relationships, and high emotional intelligence that fosters teamwork and connection.
But there's one extra thing you could do to elevate your personal and professional development: get an MBA.
This advanced business degree will give you an advantage over the competition by equipping you with specialized business knowledge and helping you to hone those innate soft skills that women are intrinsically good at.
You'll also have the advantage of a talented network. An MBA is a chance for you to make connections with community members in student groups such as 'Women in Business' student groups. Making connections with other professional women will enhance your personal development, and your group may also offer you support with applying to and landing roles.